Wells, The Time Machine

Could you please help me with my revision essay (marking rubric attached) for exam?

Kindly note the Themes for Section 2 are Art & Decadence; Science & D/evolution; Class Inequality; Colonialism.

Many thanks

This task is composed of TWO sections. You must complete BOTH sections of the task. Each section requires you to write an extended response of about 500-700 words (1000-1400 words in total).

In this assessment, you are NOT being asked to write a complete essay. Instead we are breaking up the essay in order to focus on building the close reading and textual interpretation skills required for producing a university-level Literature essay. (Your next assessment, Essay two, will require you to produce a complete Research Essay).

As this is not a complete essay, you do NOT need to provide:
• A thesis statement
• Secondary research--but if you choose to use any reference material, you must reference it using MLA style conventions (see Assessment Resources on Studydesk). DO NOT reference lectures.

Your assignment DOES need to have:
• Engagement with the whole text—DO demonstrate that you understand ALL of the novella, not just the extracts provided (this means thinking about how the extract relates to key themes)
• Evidence: DO use quotations as proof of your interpretation; DO use the language in your quotations to talk about how the text uses figurative language to create literary effects; DO think about how the narrator and narrative frames effect our understanding
• Bibliography—even if the only text in it is The Time Machine


Section 1: Select EITHER extract A or extract B from H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (DO NOT DO BOTH)

EXTRACT 1A: Using the extract provide a close reading that describes the role of the narrator in the story, and how he influences our understanding of the message/theme of the text. Use textual evidence from this and other parts of the novella to support your interpretation.

I THINK that at that time none of us quite believed in the Time Machine. The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness. Had Filby shown the model and explained the matter in the Time Traveller's words, we should have shown him far less scepticism. For we should have perceived his motives; a pork butcher could understand Filby. But the Time Traveller had more than a touch of whim among his elements, and we distrusted him. Things that would have made the frame of a less clever man seemed tricks in his hands. It is a mistake to do things too easily. The serious people who took him seriously never felt quite sure of his deportment; they were somehow aware that trusting their reputations for judgment with him was like furnishing a nursery with egg-shell china. So I don't think any of us said very much about time travelling in the interval between that Thursday and the next, though its odd potentialities ran, no doubt, in most of our minds: its plausibility, that is, its practical incredibleness, the curious possibilities of anachronism and of utter confusion it suggested. For my own part, I was particularly preoccupied with the trick of the model (Wells 13).


EXTRACT 1B: Using the extract provide a close reading in which you describe some of the important literary features of the passage (figurative language, setting, character, themes), and the way in which it presents the future of humanity as interpreted by the Time Traveller. You should compare or contrast this depiction with others provided in the novella.

Well, one very hot morning--my fourth, I think--as I was seeking shelter from the heat and glare in a colossal ruin near the great house where I slept and fed, there happened this strange thing: Clambering among these heaps of masonry, I found a narrow gallery, whose end and side windows were blocked by fallen masses of stone. By contrast with the brilliancy outside, it seemed at first impenetrably dark to me. I entered it groping, for the change from light to blackness made spots of colour swim before me. Suddenly I halted spellbound. A pair of eyes, luminous by reflection against the daylight without, was watching me out of the darkness.

The old instinctive dread of wild beasts came upon me. I clenched my hands and steadfastly looked into the glaring eyeballs. I was afraid to turn. Then the thought of the absolute security in which humanity appeared to be living came to my mind. And then I remembered that strange terror of the dark. Overcoming my fear to some extent, I advanced a step and spoke. I will admit that my voice was harsh and ill-controlled. I put out my hand and touched something soft. At once the eyes darted sideways, and something white ran past me. I turned with my heart in my mouth, and saw a queer little ape-like figure, its head held down in a peculiar manner, running across the sunlit space behind me. It blundered against a block of granite, staggered aside, and in a moment was hidden in a black shadow beneath another pile of ruined masonry (Wells, 45).

Section 2: Select ONE of the themes identified in our lectures (Art and Decadence; Science and D/evolution; Class Inequality; Colonialism). Using this extract PLUS one other event/episode from the novella, explore the relationship between theme and literary features (figurative language, setting, character, themes). Does your close reading tend to support or undermine a thematic reading of the text? Use textual evidence to support your view.

NB: Do not write about the extracts that you have focused on in Section 1.

EXTRACT: About eight or nine in the morning I came to the same seat of yellow metal from which I had viewed the world upon the evening of my arrival. I thought of my hasty conclusions upon that evening and could not refrain from laughing bitterly at my confidence. Here was the same beautiful scene, the same abundant foliage, the same splendid palaces and magnificent ruins, the same silver river running between its fertile banks. The gay robes of the beautiful people moved hither and thither among the trees. Some were bathing in exactly the place where I had saved Weena, and that suddenly gave me a keen stab of pain. And like blots upon the landscape rose the cupolas above the ways to the Under-world. I understood now what all the beauty of the Over-world people covered. Very pleasant was their day, as pleasant as the day of the cattle in the field. Like the cattle, they knew of no enemies and provided against no needs. And their end was the same (Wells, 79).

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